Are snails born with their shells? © Getty Images

Are snails born with their shells?

Asked by: Katy Williams, Burntwood

Advertisement

Yes, although the shell is transparent and soft to begin with. Snails need calcium to harden their shells and the first thing a newly hatched snail does is to eat the casing of its own egg to absorb calcium. Some snails will also cannibalise the shells of their unhatched siblings. Over the next three months, the shell gets thicker and acquires the full adult colouration.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.